Fans of PDR Cigars will be glad to know they’re making a wide variety of good cigars, the AFR-75 being their top of the line cigar. It uses the San Andreas Maduro wrapper, Nicaraguan binders and fillers and around the $14 price range. The Jericho Hill lancero-sized 12 Honest Men is a good, well-balanced, medium plus smoke with some dried pepper spice, some leather, and some natural tobacco. The 1502s have been leaving a buzz on social media with their unique, full-bodied medium plus that’s spicy and has a cherry retrohale that’s reminiscent of pipe tobacco.
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Cigar Cafe Radio 1502 | PDR | Jericho Hill | Lane Cruise | SEC
Let’s get started talking about cigars. What’s up guys?
What’s going on?
I just fired up the PDR AFR-75. It’s the first one of these I’ve smoked. The first half-inch is really good. What are you up to Sean?
I don’t look my best now.
Did you sleep on the floor?
No, I did not. I’m very thankful for the good Lord for giving us the brain power to invent leaf blowers. My wife told me to go out and buy one. I went out and bought one. My house has two feet of leaves everywhere. I’ve never had that happen in my house because we’re in the older part of New Lenox, which is really mature. I’ve got what I would have probably done in six hours in one hour. As I’m blowing leaf I’m going, “Am I freaking thankful for that.” If we’re going to put our gratitude lists together, I’m grateful for that.
Did you get an electrical one or did you get a battery-operated one or a gas-powered one?
I’ve got an electric one. It was one of the nicer ones with the metal impeller. It’s got the suck feature and the blow feature on it.
That’s what I have. It’s a Black & Decker, depending on where you put the bag, it either vacuums leaves or blow leaves.
Does it work well to vacuum leaves? I have something probably like a less heavy-duty version. I never could get that part to work right.
It works okay. The cool feature is, is that as it shreds the leaves and everything and dumps them into the bag, you take those big contractor trash bags, you could fit about sixteen bags of leaves into a single bag.
I used it now a little bit and it worked pretty well. You know what it’s great for? You’re blowing the side of the house and you’ve got garbage cans on the side of the house. You flip it over to vacuum, suck around the garbage cans and then go about your way of blowing the shit out of everything.
Our yard guy has one of the big backpack gas power ones. He cuts our grass and blows the leaves around, if there are any. Right now, there’s a bunch. We’ve got trees lining the perimeter of our yard and right now it looks like tree droppings.
I’m sweating from it. It’s like a workout.
We have our nephew’s birthday party in our house. It feels in between the weeks that our yard guy shows up and my wife say, “Do we have leaf blower, don’t we?” I said, “Yes.” She’s like, “You really need to get out there.” I’d be mortified if my nephew fell dog shit.
How’s that PDR treating you? What are its characteristics? I’m interested to try a few. One of our newest sponsors, so we are happy to have them on board. I’ve had an A. Flores before and it was great. I know they have quite a few others so I’m interested, which one do you have again?
This is the AFR-75, which is their top of the line cigar. Their best of the best, their most expensive cigar. Just using the San Andreas Maduro wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and fillers. It’s around $14 price range. The one I’m smoking is the 5 x 56. They’re using tobacco that’s aged a little bit longer than their other cigars. I definitely can tell the difference. I’m really a fan of PDR cigars. They’re making a wide variety of good cigars. This one I can tell is definitely a little smoother than their ones. A little more complex, the flavors. This nice medium to full body.
Lane, are you smoking that one too? I know you love Nicaraguans right now. Are you also partaking?
I am not smoking a PDR right now. I took a note out of your playbook and got the Jericho Hill Lancero 12 Honest Men.
It’s a sweet cigar, isn’t it?
It is a really good cigar. It’s very well-balanced, medium plus. It’s flirting with some dried pepper spice, some leather and some natural tobacco. It’s a very pleasant smoke. I could have smoked something before I can smoke something after it. I’m really enjoying it so far.
It’s definitely on the list. I’ve smoked the ones that I have. I did what you guys asked. We talked about the Undercrown Shade and I wasn’t thrilled with it. I was okay. In that flavor profile, I have ones that I like more than that. After months of age, it is a better cigar. I think that it aged in the humidor pretty well. Is it still my favorite in that profile? No, but definitely a great smoke and really well made and burned great I enjoyed the hell out of it, much more than I did the first time around.
Is that your third one or did you break your own rule of three?
That was my second one. After talking to you guys and they came out fast, they really shipped quickly after the convention. I thought maybe I should let this price a little bit. I did and it definitely worked for sure.
That’s a good thing for listeners to keep in mind. A lot of times if you buy a few cigars, you smoke one right when you get it, then maybe three months later, then maybe another three months later. After you’ve let it sit in your humidor for a little while.
I’ve got those Opus Perfections. I smoked one right away. I’m about to take one on a cruise with me this weekend. I’ve still got the other one sitting in the humidor.
What are you bringing on the cruise? What’s making the cut?
You’re not going to bring a Nat Sherman?
I am, but I’m talking about what’s in the humidor right now. I’ve got four that are going with me in my hand. One of them is a Nat Sherman. It’s the third Vitola that I will have smoked. It’s the 546 and 660. I’ve got an Upmann The Banker, a La Flor Dominicana 1994. I’ve got two Ligas, but I’m only taking the Dirty Rat with me, the T52 is going home.
We’re all pretty active now on Twitter and with followers and we follow different people. Do you think it’s funny how a cigar will make its way through social media and become like a darling? It’s really weird. It’s a short period of time and then it’s gone. Do you find that to be the case?
Definitely. That’s a big thing right now. Everybody’s looking for the next new thing. A few months goes by and then everybody is onto the next.
Harris had those 1502’s in stock. I went to pick one up just solely on social media buzz about the last three. It was very unique. It was full-bodied, somewhere just north of medium plus. It’s spicy and it had somewhere into the second third a very unique cherry retrohale on it. It was almost reminiscent of pipe tobacco. The retrohale just run in through the nose. It was a really pleasant aroma that it left, especially in that second third.
You would recommend it again?
I would say that if you haven’t smoked one, you should definitely smoke one. I don’t think it’s necessarily something that would be a daily smoker for me. Stephen LaPre, the Cigar Chairman didn’t steer me wrong with it. I don’t think you’re going to be unhappy with it when I give one in the mail to you.
We had all four of our teams in the Super Bowl and we went one in three in the Super Bowl this year. My team that I coach won the Super Bowl title. It was counterbalanced by the fact that my son lost six to three in triple overtime. I went through this, “Do I smoke a cigar for celebration purposes or do I not?” I decided to do it anyway and I had the AVO LE ‘09, I think it’s the Companero. That was a really nice one. We talked about balanced cigars. You remember when we talked about the Senorial? That was a very balanced cigar. There was nothing that was overpowering, no notes that were more prominent than the rest that I saw. Unlike the Jericho Hill, which I do find has a profile that stands out. I felt like that AVO LE ‘09 was the same way. It had really nice light spice on the retrohale, natural pipe tobacco. Sweet wrapper, but a really nice smoke.
Those Companeros have been long gone. It’s been years since we had those outside of the sampler. When we did have them, they went fast.
That’s where the gap and my AVO Limited Editions were. I’m getting ready to get married and stuff like that. I just want to drop off the AVO map for a little while.
I’m seeing that the AVO LEs, the Limited Editions are all balanced. They all have different nuances of balanced smoke, but they all seem to be balanced in their own way. Do you notice that? I don’t see them having a real strong flavor profile that goes way off the grid. I don’t find one to be really woodsy of one to be really creamy. They’re all really nice.
I feel like a lot of all those sticks are pretty well-balanced. I think with the LE’s, they try and do something different every year. Something that’s not in that wheelhouse.
Something that’s not on their normal lineup.
Harris, have you smoked the new limited edition yet? Is the 2015 out?
Classic Covers 2. I know Lane has smoked a couple of them.
The Classic Covers Volume 2, I thought was great. It’s more expensive than the Syncro, but it’s in that same vein. It’s more full-bodied than AVOs, tend to be a little spicier. I’ve had both of the Classic Covers and I really enjoyed both of them. I think they definitely hit home.
My wife and I are coming up to our 17th year anniversary. There’s a little town North of Chicago, two hours Northwest called Galena. They have a cigar shop in town and I’m looking forward to going there. I’m going to walk in with my nuts hanging out and I’m going to say, “What’s your most expensive cigar and give it to me.”
They’re going to have the Perdomo Edicion de Silvio.
They’re going to break the bank, is that what you’re saying?
That’s going to be about $40. Maybe $50 in Chicago.
For the anniversary, I’m going to enjoy it. I’m even going to have them cut it for me. Do you guys cut cigars there at the shop, Harris? Do you cut the cap for people?
Yeah, if they want us to. We ask people.
I can share a relevant story with this. This Lancero has a pigtail cap. I was talking to Gary right after I bought it. He asked if I knew what it was for and I said, “Yeah. You’re supposed to twist it off.” I’ve never really done it before and so I reach over and I twist and just the pigtail comes off. He says, “Hand that to me.”
What did he say?
Give that to me. He used a cutter to make like a punch-type hole on top of it. This is a 38-ring gauge. It’s not a big fat stick. It’s 7.5 inches long. It’s got a very narrow opening.
We do try to make sure everybody knows the proper way to cut a cigar because we will have some guys that walk in and cut a huge amount off. We’ll try to catch them before that happens because they will unravel if you do that.
I know I’ve talked about my Palio Cutter before, but that cutter has made me better at flipping the cap off any cigar since I bought it.
I don’t know. It’s shaped odd. I know I’ve put pictures up on Twitter. It makes you pay attention to where the blade is touching the cap. It looks thicker than it really is. I’ve just become more precise with it and it applies to my Xikar cutter and even cheap cutters. They’ve got a good one here at the cash register that’s tied down because it’s nice. It’s only a single guillotine isn’t it?
It has two blades but one is fixed.
That’s the way the Palio is because they slide against each other, but both of them are attached to the sides.
The Palio is really smooth.
It’s a cool cutter.
I liked the one you gave me. That’s an awesome one.
You have the Xikar Xi2. It’s one of the staple ones you see everywhere.
The very first time someone asked me to cut my cigar, I didn’t know what was going on. They cut it all lopsided and messed it all up. Let me do my shit myself.
That’s terrible. That happened at the cigar shop?
They cut it completely on an angle. I didn’t hear that.
I like to cut cigars.
What else is new guys? What are you doing this weekend? You’ve got anything planned? Any cigar occasions? You want to talk about the SEC? There are some good games coming up.
I have my butt puckered for LSU versus Alabama.
That’s a huge one.
You should actually. Your ass should be puckered up really good.
Speaking of that, have you guys been reading on Twitter? You guys are posting a little bit about how everybody is losing their minds about Alabama number four?
I’m not a huge Big Twelve guy. I like TCU and I like Baylor. I like them okay. Here’s the problem, I don’t think that either of their schedules it’s not until now.
That’s when they get left out.
Their games are situated in a spot where they’re going to leapfrog. Everyone should chill out because Ohio State has to play Michigan State. This is all going to work itself out. Alabama has got to play LSU. Someone’s dropping out.
You know who’s in number five.
Don’t think that wasn’t coming. I told my son this. If they can win out, they will be in the top four. They will be.
If they beat Stanford at the end of the year, Stanford is number eleven and number eight in the coaches’ poll, they will in the top four.
There is no situation that exist where Notre Dame wins out they are not in the top four.
You’re damn right. I’m cool with that. Will they do it? I don’t l know. They seem to be one of those teams that gets it done and even regardless of injury and all that stuff. I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m not putting too much effort into it yet. Does that make sense? I’m not going to let them break my heart yet.
Do you think anybody else is backward in schedule to keep the SEC team out that wins out?
That’s a good question. I’ve never thought of that actually.
Baylor and TCU are both ready to go until last minute the playoff, Ohio State ahead of them.
It’s hard for me to believe that a one loss SEC team won’t make it. Like Alabama beats LSU, I can’t see how someone would leapfrog Alabama. I just can’t see it. Do you think that there’s a way that that can happen?
I don’t know. A lot rides on Stanford and Notre Dame. I don’t think the Pac-12 as a whole is well-represented this year. Utah went on their territory for a little while. The traditional Pac-12 powerhouses are all out of this one.
Is there a way Stanford could jump in there? Probably, I guess.
I think if Stanford wins the Notre Dame game, they’ve got a shot. Did they leapfrog the one loss Alabama or Notre Dame? I don’t know.
I just can’t see that happening.
Even if LSU wins, their schedule is not necessarily paid for them. They are still going to have to go beat an Ole Miss team that is tired of getting punched around.
Who would they play in the SEC title game if they did beat Alabama?
It looks like Florida. I bet if it’s not LSU-Florida, LSU takes that.
I don’t see it happening.
It really turned things around for Muschamp being their last.
Any new cigars come in that you’re interested in Harris? Has anything started to trickle in that you saw at the IPCPR but has been a while to get in?
There are a few things. One is the cigar that Lane is smoking, the Jericho Hill 12 Honest Men. That just showed up. Another one is the La Nox from La Flor Dominicana.
How about that company that was comprised of two soup rock stars? What’s the name of it again?
That was a Dunbarton.
What’s their story? Everyone loved them. They didn’t even have any cigars out and people were kissing their butt at the show.
They’re still getting everything ready to ship, as far as I know. I haven’t seen any samples show up or anything, but I think they’re gearing up to start shipping those any day.
That’s nice though to have that buzz and have no product. How cool is that?
Most of that is because of Steve Saka is the former president of Drew Estate before, that he ran JR Cigars and built it into a powerhouse. I’ve gotten to know him a little bit through some of the TAA trade group trips. He’s one of the smartest guys out there in the cigar industry. A great marketing guy, great palate, great sense for how to make good cigars. The Liga Privada was his personal smoke for years. He had to make it and they didn’t release it for several years. I don’t even think he wanted it to ever be a regular production cigar, which is his personal blend.
The Liga Privada that he’s talking about is the T52. You know why the No. 9 is released first? His personal smoke was what became the T52.
As you and I agree on Lane that T52 is my go-to.
What Gary was telling me, this Dirty Rat I’ve got, he says it’s more of a No. 9 blend, but it’s got that stalk-cut Habano wrapper from the T52. It’s like a 5×46 or something like that. It’s about the same size as the Nat Sherman I’m taking.
I’ve got three Maduros that I was really excited to have because it’s their bestseller. All three had Connecticut wrappers on the inside when I took the tobacco leaf off. I was a little disappointed, but it just shows how production stuff can happen and weird things. If we’re going to talk about all the good things, we’ve got to talk about some of the bad too.
We’ve had a few show up in the shop like that, which probably why you saw it too, because they came from here. When we get Jim Robinson on the show we can ask him about that. I’m guessing they got some labels switched up by accident.
I love the Connecticut. It was like I was pissed off about having to smoke it. I want to smoke the Maduro. I want to try it. It had nothing more to do than I just want to try the damn thing, but I haven’t gotten a chance to yet. When he does come on the show, I’m going to bust his balls to maybe send me a couple.
He’s got all kinds of other ones too. The Island Jim, that’s another one we have. It was pretty unique. The only other one that we have right now. We had another it’s called Big Johnny. That’s like an 8×80. He’s got all kinds of things in the works.
I wanted to ask you about a cigar you talked about a couple months ago and it had a really weird name. It’s Johnny Tobacconaut. I’ve seen ads on it lately on some of the leading cigar sites. Tell me a little bit about it. Who makes that? Why was it made? It’s a goofy brand, but everyone says it’s pretty damn good.
It’s owned by Davidoff. It’s under the Room 101/Camacho brand. They’ve got this astronaut smoking cigar on the band. Medium to full-body Nicaraguan blend. They’re just trying to do something different, different branding. It seems to be getting good reviews out there.
Did you like the one that you smoked?
Yeah. I smoked one day on the show and I enjoyed it. It was to me, more medium to full-body in the Nicaragua. It’s a good Nicaraguan cigar.
Lane, have you had one yet?
I have not.
They only made 3,500 boxes.
It’s limited edition.
They capped the production and they just started shipping.
Do you still have them in stock?
We don’t have any right now. There may be one that would get in. We have not got it yet.
I think I’m going to put that down as one to try it.
I’m on their website right now. They just have all this out there brand talking about smoking cigars on the moon and stuff like that.
Matt Damon smoked the Johnny Tobacconaut in The Martian.
I know. I’m just playing.
I’m guessing this is Matt Booth’s brainchild. He’s a very creative guy. His main business is creating silver jewelry and all kinds of really high-end pieces. I’m sure this was something he came up with after much drinking.
Didn’t he used to live in this area at some point?
I thought he used to live within 40 miles in Birmingham.
I don’t know. He may. I’m not sure. I know right now he lives in LA. He is based there.
I thought at one point he had been local.
We’ve had him in the store a few times for events and things like that. I think we’ve talked to him about coming on the show.
I think we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about one of your employees, Jason. He’s leaving Cigars & More and he’s going to work for Altadis. We’ve talked many times about cigar shops, having people in there that learn the business and learn more about cigars and really take it on as a passion. I like to talk about success stories and I think that that’s a success story. You obviously taught him right. He ran a store for you for a while. I know it sucks for you, but he’s moving on to better himself and it looks like it’s going to be a good move for him. I think that that’s pretty damn cool because you’re doing exactly what cigar shops need to do.
We’re really excited for him. It’s something he’s talked about doing for a while. He was at Vitola when we started up there and then moved over to our Patton Creek location. He really did a great job helping that store to grow and be our second busiest store and our fastest growing store. He’s just done a great job.
When you build your stores out, do you have an idea of how you want it to look? Have you ever thought of doing an old-style cigar shop? I always thought of pairing cigars with tonics and beard things and you know what I’m talking about? Like an old men’s store.
I think that’s a great idea. Each one of our stores looks pretty different. Some are set up differently. I think that is a cool thing to do. You see that with some cigar shops around and you pair with some other guy things with cigars. We’ve experimented with a lot of things. Some worked, some haven’t. We used to have walking canes and things like that.
Did they have knives in them?
No. I think we would have sold them really fast if they had it because everyone asked that.
We all want a cane with a blade in it.
The same company made the best fingernail clippers in the world. We have a bunch of those. It was this really hard steel and you have a leather case for it.
Lane, where is cruise to? Where are you going and when are you coming back? It’s a quick one. A three-day?
No, it’s five nights. My wife was dropping me off at the airport. I fly out to Orlando and my old roommate will meet me at the airport there.
This is a guy’s trip?
My parents are the ones that book the trip first and they invited me and all my brothers and sisters, I was the only one who took them up on that. My wife isn’t a cruiser. She said, “I don’t want the stomach flu. You should take, Will.” My roommate’s going with me. They have an all-you-can-drink package. In Nassau, we’re actually going into the Breezes. It’s all-inclusive there and they have a swim-up bar, it’s going to be ridiculous.
I would think that you are going to be ridiculous. I would think that you’re going to be pretty messed up for four days.
I may have to have my mom asked for the cab on whatever day that is.
I’ve got to take off but as always, it’s been a pleasure. What are you going to smoke? You’ve got any new ones that you’re going to smoke Harris? Any that you’re going to try?
I’m thinking about smoking a few that I haven’t made it a round two yet that aren’t necessarily super new ones. Maybe new to the store, but the Flores y Rodriguez 10th Anniversary from PDR and the Maduro, the Blue Label. I think I’ll smoke Island Jims from Leaf by Oscar. I have not tried one of those recently. We got into this one box from Fuente called the Don Carlos Eye of the Shark. It’s like a rare release.
I think that’s the cigar I smoked with my father-in-law before he passed away. Does it have a cedar band on it?
This one doesn’t but I think they’ve done some other size.
I think that’s what it was really rare. They don’t make many.
It appeared on TVC cigars. That’s what you want to smoke if you want to smoke the best cigar.
Have a great weekend and watch football because there’s going to be some great games I’m excited about.
Sounds good. Happy weekend.
Take care guys. Lane, I live vicariously through your vacationing so I’m always busting your balls, but really I wish I was on the trip with you. Have fun.
We’ll have to have a cigar cruise sooner or later.
I’d love it.
You can be the designated walker.
I’ll just wheel you guys around in wheelchairs.
See you, Sean.
- Jericho Hill Lancero 12 Honest Men
- Undercrown Shade
- 1502 Black Gold
- AVO Syncro
- Nat Sherman
- Twitter – Cigar Cafe
- Upmann The Banker
- La Flor Dominicana 1994
- Dirty Rat
- Stephen LaPre
- Classic Covers 2
- Perdomo Edicion de Silvio
- Palio Cutter
- Xikar Xi2
- La Nox
- Drew Estate
- Island Jim
- Big Johnny
- Johnny Tobacconaut
- Island Jims from Leaf by Oscar
- Flores y Rodriguez 10th Anniversary
- Don Carlos Eye of the Shark